by Tina | Dec 19, 2017 | Devotional
Today we have internet! We have only had internet about 7 days this month so far (welcome to Nigeria)! I want to take advantage of this opportunity to wish you a Wonderful Christmas season as we think about the tiny baby in the manger and why He came to Earth.
It seems very strange that Christmas is less than a week away. As I sit in my chair, it is sunny and 85 degrees outside. The birds are singing and flowers blooming. Our sheets are drying out on the line (as the dryer has been broken for about a month and is currently being fixed.) Spending most of my life living in Minnesota, this is not the traditional Christmas weather. We have had three Christmas’s here in Gembu, and it is still a very strange feeling, but we do enjoy it! It is so funny how we are such creatures of habit and associate Christmas with snow, Christmas decorations, cookies, and stores!
Speaking of habit, I want to share with you my favorite movie that I must watch every year about this time. It’s a Wonderful Life. This movie was released in 1946, 17 years before I was born, but every year I love the reminder that is all over this movie, the quote that Clarence the angel says to George Bailey swirls around my thoughts, as I plan my next year of life and work. “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
This thought echoes through my head this time of year. Will the presents you give this year change anyone’s life for the better? Will the tree and decorations be perfect? Will this season be memorable and special for all? When you are not on this Earth anymore will your absence be felt? Will your fingerprints and prayers be felt for generations because of anything you have done, given, or said?
In this stage of my life my goal is for people to see Jesus in all I do, say, and am. Jesus has given me life, a life I would have never dreamed of. Freedom and joy I did not know was possible! A peace and a joy that can only be from Him.
I pray that if I were to see what it would be like if I was never born, I would be surprised at the people who got to see a glimpse of Jesus through me. That I would not be THAT person who treats others poorly as I rush through my life with MY agenda. I pray that all would see Jesus in and through me. This includes first of all our family members who know us best and love us anyway. Sometimes we forget to treat those closest to us as precious. They are! Every moment with loved ones is priceless and should never be taken for granted. EVER!
My point for today is this: Are you spending this Christmas spreading “stuff” or the love that can only come from the Jesus that I serve?
by Tina | Dec 3, 2017 | Devotional
I know that I have not blogged in FOREVER! While we were in the States this year we told all of the churches we visited that I blog every week while we are in Nigeria and post pictures every week. I think God must have a wacky sense of humor because we have been so busy I have not been able to blog as it takes more than two consecutive minutes for me to put a thought together. Then there is that always loved, always hated entity out there called “the internet”. Ours has had issues and I have also had issues loading pictures on my computer without it using up all of our internet.
So… I want to share with you what has been going on here and I am excited someday to be able to post some pictures as well so you can see what’s going on.
Funmi and I have been having reading and math classes and they are really going well. The curriculum we are using is awesome and the students of all ages that we have really enjoy it and are excited that they can read much more than they ever thought they could! This is truly a gift and a joy to see!
Our first group of TTP Students that we have been doing math with have all passed their math and reading tests now and have received their certificates, and when their trainers that they are apprenticing with approves that each is ready to have their own business, they will each receive their empowerment tools. We are so proud of these students! They have worked hard on learning their craft and the entrepreneurship classes as well. Our second group of TTP Students is doing very well and very soon will be testing to see who is ready to start their apprenticeship with our trainers.
The reading classes at the school have shown huge results and we are working with the school when they resume after the first of the year.
Miss Taraba invited me to talk at an event at Taraba State University and she also purchased 150 Days for Girls kits to distribute to women and girls that attended. It was an awesome time and I believe we made some wonderful connections for further training of women and girls. Miss Taraba will be coming to Gembu during her break for me to work with her and for her to pass her “Ambassador of Health” training so that she can go out and talk to women and girls as she has engagements all over our state.
Because of the additional DFG kits that I believe we will be needing I have hired Odelia to work Monday through Friday and we are making kits like crazy. Quality control is my very first priority during this part and she is doing very well with that, I check every day to keep things on track! The Kits are also quite a huge blessing to women that give birth at our Hospital, as we give them a Post-Partum kit and talk to them about charting their cycle and such before they go home. A big thank you to all the women who made kits that we brought back to Nigeria with us, they are soooo appreciated. Thank you!
We spent a week in Abuja getting supplies and emptying out the apartment. We are not in Abuja enough to justify this, and our plan is to only go once or twice a year now. We got to have American Thanksgiving with our friends, the Holmes, who are missionaries in Abuja, and it was an awesome time to spend with some dear people we don’t get to see that often.
We then were in Jalingo for me to speak at the University and to renew our Driver’s Licenses and get some additional supplies that we needed for World AIDS Day, which was December 1. In case you are wondering, we do not like being in Abuja or Jalingo as our Minnesota bodies melt in the heat!
World Aids Day was on Friday and IT WAS AWESOME! We had many distinguished visitors and marched through town and to our new hall. We talked about how HIV and some of the secondary infections are greatly affecting us here in Nigeria and we also graduated our first group of students from the Entrepreneurship Program. We had Jollof Rice, Malta, and banana bread from our awesome restaurant and celebrated! There was a lot of singing and dancing and love spread around on Friday!
All of this is in addition to the building projects moving forward, patients in the hospital and clinic, and ministry continuing forward.
I do have a point in today’s blog and this is it:
Dan and I have both felt spiritual oppression during these past couple of months. I believe that this is because much is moving forward here and we are impacting the community daily in many ways here. Please pray. Each morning Dan and I pray that God will show us what to say and do for that day and that we are discerning enough to do it. We have many expenses because of buildings. Prices here have at least tripled in this past year. We need wisdom on what is God’s priority first. Not our own. Thank you, friends, God is good and we are thankful!